Got Milk? Got Drugs? Got Both?: State Responds After Idaho Dairy Cattle Test Positive in Food Safety Tests

High levels of antibiotics and other drugs found in cattle linked to dairies

Brain Oakey, Deputy Director, Idaho State Department of Agriculture

Brain Oakey, Deputy Director, Idaho State Department of Agriculture

The Boise Weekly has written another strong exposé on Idaho dairies and how the State’s regulators are utterly failing to regulate them or test their products for dangerous levels of antibiotics and other drugs.

Got Milk? Got Drugs? Got Both?: State Responds After Idaho Dairy Cattle Test Positive in Food Safety Tests | High levels of antibiotics and other drugs found in cattle linked to dairies.
By George Printice – Boise Weekly

When Elk Fly

The effort to protect the livestock industry of Montana expands to elk.

Helicopter netting of elk as part of a brucellosis study

Yesterday the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks was out using a helicopter to capture elk with nets so that they could test them for brucellosis, attach radio collars, and implant vaginal devices intended to drop out when the elk give birth or abort a fetus. This is another example of how the livestock industry turns the table against wildlife so that they carry no burden.

Disease testing: Elk study aims to measure spread of brucellosis
By Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard.

Niemeyer: Wolves didn’t kill cow near Eagle last week

It died of birthing problems

Last week there was a big story about how wolves had killed a cow in the foothills above Eagle, Idaho, which most of you probably know is just west of Boise. Well, Carter Niemeyer, – the Montana western supervisor for Wildlife Services from 1975-1990 and the Wildlife Services Montana wolf specialist for the following 10 years until he took a post in Idaho as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wolf recovery coordinator – did his own investigation and says that wolves didn’t kill the cow.

Here are the comments that I received today from Carter about the findings of his own investigation: Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon ranchers hit by rustlers finding a surprise this winter: returning cows

One of the problems with Christopher Columbus style ranching.

Good animal husbandry by the "original stewards of the land" © Ken Cole

Good animal husbandry by the "original stewards of the land" © Ken Cole

You put them out in the spring then “discover” them in the winter.

Poor animal husbandry in remote areas can lead to all kinds of problems for ranchers, cattle, wildlife, and habitat alike. It’s just one reason that these Great Basin desert areas are unsuitable for cattle grazing in the first place. It’s a desert and cattle grazing requires a huge amount of land just to support one cow. There often isn’t enough water for the cattle and the plants and landscape of the Great Basin did not evolve with large ungulates like bison or cattle so they are easily damaged by the presence of cattle.

Here, the ranchers are complaining about rustlers. This is probably a widespread problem throughout the arid West but, as you can see from the article, the ranchers are reporting sightings of wolves in the area. I’m sure that once any sighting is confirmed the hysteria will quickly focus on wolves rather than rustlers as a cause for their woes.

Oregon ranchers hit by rustlers finding a surprise this winter: returning cows.
By Richard Cockle – The Oregonian

Anatomy of a medusahead invasion

An annual grass worse than cheatgrass

Medusahead grass has the ability to take over a landscape like cheatgrass but nothing will eat it after it dies and dries out in the early summer months. It is becoming a huge problem in some areas and I’ve seen allotments with vast expanses where it is about the only thing that grows. Of course, if you’re the BLM, what else is there to do but renew the grazing permit and continue the degradation?

Anatomy of a medusahead invasion.
High Country News

Living with Wolves: An Oregon Field Guide Special

Slow progress for Oregon’s wolves

Oregon Field Guide recently broadcast a special about Oregon’s wolves and how they are dealing with people and how people are dealing with them. It has been a tough road for the wolves there and many wolves have been killed by the government on behalf of livestock interests and by poachers. One of the biggest difficulties faced by the wolves is the presence of livestock and the sense of entitlement felt by ranchers who think they deserve a predator free landscape.

Living with Wolves: An Oregon Field Guide Special
Oregon Public Broadcasting.